Hailed by Kurt Masur as “One of the most talented young conductors of his generations,” THOMAS HONG enjoys the distinction of being one of the most successfully appointed conductors today. Having won titled positions with the Dallas, Pittsburgh and Seattle Symphony Orchestras as well as Orchestre National de France, Hong has conducted countless concerts with those orchestras, ranging from classical, community, education and pops concerts. Presently, he is the Music Director of the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra in Ohio and Interim Director of the University of Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra. Recent activities include being principal conductor for the inaugural season of the DSO on the GO series with the Dallas Symphony, performing in neighboring venues of the North Texas area, and a re-engagement with the Utah Symphony this past summer, where he was the conductor for the 2014 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition in Salt Lake City.
Orchestras that Hong has guest conducted include the Utah, Fort Worth, Richmond, Winnepeg and Spokane Symphonies as well as the Seoul, Buffalo and Lutosławski Philharmonics. Among his operatic and vocal performances are Copland’s The Tenderland, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress and Donizetti’s L’exisir d’Amore at the Wortham Opera Theatre in Houston. Awards that Hong has received include the Leopold Stokowski Fellowship, the Whitaker Fund for Opera and a fellowship by the Brahms society of Baden-Baden. His latest recording was from the show “From the Top” with pianist/host Christopher O’Riley and the DSO at the Meyerson Symphony Center.
Hong was born in Incheon, Korea and immigrated to the United States with his family. He began his musical training as a pianist and continued his studies with Dr. Samuel Hsu at Cairn University. Later, he went on to earn a masters degree in choral conducting at Temple University and an artist diploma in orchestral conducting from The Curtis Institute of Music, studying with Alan Harler and Otto Werner Mueller, respectively. He concluded his artistic training with Larry Rachleff at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. Thomas currently lives in Philadelphia with his wife Rachel Ku and their daughter Esther.